Why in news?

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) on 20th April 2020 said it had requested the government to open up e-commerce services, adding that the online vs offline debate is an ‘incorrect portrayal’ of the ground reality as lakhs of sellers from the physical markets also sold online.

This follows the ‘last-minute announcement’ by MHA on Sunday, limiting e-commerce to supply of essential goods even as companies prepared to scale up operations based on an earlier order.

Why is important to support e-commerce?

  • In the current crisis, the only priority is to emphasize on ‘social distancing’ and e-commerce can support India’s fight against COVID-9.
  • After nearly a month of lockdown, the debate is not necessarily between what is ‘essential’ and what is ‘non-essential’.
  • The real debate is how not to choke demand completely when the country is going through a health crisis.
  • The key to returning to normal was the fulfilment of consumer demand, which, under the present public health crisis, could be effectively done through e-commerce.

IAMAI

  • Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is a not-for-profit industry body registered under the Societies Act. Its mandate is to expand and enhance the online and mobile value-added services sectors.
  • IAMAI is the only specialized industry body in India representing the interests of online and mobile value-added services industry.
  • The main purpose of the IAMAI is to improve and expand the value-added services pertaining to mobiles and several online services.

Societies Act

  • The Societies Registration Act, 1860 is a legislation in India which allows the registration of entities generally involved in the benefit of society – education, health, employment etc.
  • The British Indian Empire, with a wish to encourage such activities and to promote the formal organization of groups of like-minded people, incorporated the Act 21 of 1860, in other words, The Societies Registration Act, 1860 (21 of 1860), which came into force on 21 May 1860.
  • The Act continues until today and being an Act of Parliament, comes under the Right to Information Act, wherein the government is legally responsible to give any information requested by any citizen of India with respect to any society.
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